Everyone involved with the Melbourne Football Club was saddened to hear of the passing of dual premiership player, Keith Carroll, on 23 September.
Keith, originally from Romsey, was a tough half-back flanker, who wore No. 19 throughout his 58 games in the red and blue between 1952 and 1958.
In a special achievement, Keith played every game in 1956, and was noted for playing ‘with the brilliance we all have known him to possess’. In later years, Melbourne’s entire 1956 team – the ‘Olympic Premiers’ – would be inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in recognition of the players’ domination of the competition.
Keith was part of this, and – despite being hampered by injury – took his place in 1957 to play in a second premiership for Melbourne.
In 1958, he again persevered with injury, playing in the Grand Final loss to Collingwood. It was hoped that he would return to full health and form, and be able to continue playing; indeed, the 1958 annual report stated that:
Keith in form is a dashing, brilliant player, and is determined to be back in the side in the near future.
This was a wonderful tribute, but Keith Carroll had decided to hang his boots up. However, he was part of a memorable era, and was one of those who maintained strong connections with his teammates over the following decades. In 2008, he was named a ‘Hero’ of the Melbourne Football Club for its 150th birthday, and in 2021, he was delighted to greet a new premiership cup.
With his passing, the red and blue family has lost one of its own. Keith was farewelled with a private cremation, and we offer our deepest condolences to his wife, Edna, to his son, Rob, and to his five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.